conformity to social roles: zimbardo's research

  • Created by: IvyVega
  • Created on: 22-02-18 12:17
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  • Conformity to social roles: Zimbardo's research
    • Procedure
      • They recruited 24 emotionally stable students determined by psychological testing
        • randomly assigned roles of guards or prisoners.
      • To increase realism, prisoners were arrested in their homes and delivered to the prison
        • blindfolded, *****-searched, deloused and issued a uniform and number.
      • the prisoners daily routines were heavily regulated.
        • there were 16 rules to follow, enforced by guards working in shifts, three at a time.
      • De-individuation
        • Prisoners names were never used, only their numbers.
        • Guards had their own uniform
          • wooden clubs, handcuffs, keys and mirror shades.
            • They were told they had complete power over the prisoners, for instance deciding when they could go to the toilet.
    • Findings and conclusions
      • Within two days, the prisoners rebelled against their treatment.
        • they ripped their uniforms and shouted and swore at the guards, who retaliated with fire extinguishers
      • Guards harassed the prisoners constantly by conducting frequent headcounts, sometimes in the middle of the night.
      • Guards highlighted the differences in social roles by creating opportunities to enforce the rules and punish slight misdemeanours
      • The Guards took their roles with enthusiasm.
        • their behaviour threatened the prisoners psychological and physical health.
        • For example
          • After the rebellion was put down, the prisoners became subdued, anxious and depressed.
            • Three prisoners were released early because they showed signs of psychological disturbance
            • one prisoners went on hunger strike: the guards attempted to force-feed him and punished him by putting him in the hole
          • The study was stopped after six days instead of the planned eight days


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